Category Archives: Zen Pencils

Activism, a change from within

The Nation Free

It is our responsibility and duty to promote change when there is a need for change. Many of us know of causes worth fighting for, and enjoy taking part in the process of making a change. When Obama said, “Yes, we can” emphasis was put on the word we. Look at the world, there are billions of people living on Earth. If you take a country, there are million there. A state or province has thousands. A town has hundreds. A neighborhood has tens and a house has a handful. And that handful is made of individuals.

Thus the world is a canvas with pin-point dots on it. The canvas may seem like one splash of paint, but if you start taking each of those points away, the canvas will soon be bare. Thus every one of us makes a difference even though sometimes, it doesn’t seem that way. We feel so insignificant, even though we aren’t.

This is why change demands the efforts of each individual. At first, no one spoke about homosexuality and people didn’t dare demand the recognition of homosexuals as human beings. Slowly, someone voiced his opinions and then another did. One by one, voices were heard and soon, entire communities stood up. People slowly began to accept that homosexuality wasn’t an abnormality, that who you loved didn’t make you less human and that these were human beings who should be treated like human beings. Today, certain states and countries have legalized gay marriage, and a fight for the legalization of both homosexuality and gay marriage is taking place worldwide.

Thus the changes we see today, the rights won, the recognition given, weren’t magically handed over to us. People fought for them, risking their lives. We were told to dream and fight for our dreams.

This is why activism is important. We all dream of a Utopia. This isn’t about a political Utopia, but a world where everyone is happy, where there is no injustice. A perfect world isn’t possible to create for various reasons, however we can change our image or idea of what perfection is.

However, it is one thing to fight for our dreams and another to fight against other people. Our freedom ends where another’s nose begins, the saying goes. Thus we must make sure our fights are passive and not aggressive. Many say Gandhi used a method of passive aggression. However, hunger strikes aren’t non-violent. You are inflicting pain on your self, and encouraging others to inflict pain on them selves too. Thus violent protests where a riot police is needed or hunger strikes aren’t answers to life’s many problems. This is why we must be careful about our method of fighting for our dreams.

You must be also cautious about what you fight for. Violence, hate and anger are not things that need to be promoted. Work towards a world of love, kindness and happiness. During a time when awareness campaigns are a many, you can have your pick of what cause to fight for. And no matter how small a donation or how quiet a voice you have, you matter. Your effort matters.

The Pale Blue Dot is a photograph taken of Earth from six billion kilometers away by Voyager 1 in 1996. Carl Sagan, an astronomer, shared his views of the photograph and what it meant to him like this:

“Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”